The number of ways a brand can engage with a customer has grown exponentially over the past decade, especially in the digital landscape. With more touchpoints for engaging an audience comes more opportunities to get your marketing message just right.
Successful companies often use multiple marketing channels in tandem to broaden their reach and for better engagement, a strategy known as multichannel marketing.
Benefits of multichannel marketing
Multichannel marketing requires a deep understanding of how each channel works, and how your customers prefer to use them. When strategically implemented, companies will see gains in a few key areas.
Multichannel marketing offers a multi-pronged approach for engaging with customers. It broadens the reach of your company by being active on the channels customers most prefer – increasing both brand visibility and recognition.
Even better, by analyzing the performance of these different channels, businesses can hone their strategy to focus on touchpoints that yield higher conversions.
Enhanced data collection and improved insights
Each interaction you have with a potential customer is another data point to understand their wants, needs, and preferences. The products they’re interested in, the channels they’re most active on – all this information can be used to optimize outreach.
Companies that can combine these insights gain a 360-degree view of their customers, gathering important context as to what’s working (and what isn’t) when it comes to their engagement strategy. Using this data, you could even create nuanced audience segments based on specific behaviors and intent (e.g., targeting people who’ve shown a high propensity to buy).
Rather than putting your message out on every possible channel, multichannel marketing helps pinpoint which channels are the most cost-effective. This savvy approach helps businesses increase their ROI by not wasting time (and money) on low-return touchpoints.
Deciding which channels to focus on will vary between businesses and industries, something Brian Balfour discusses in his series on Channel Model Fit.
Challenges of multichannel marketing
The nature of multichannel requires marketers to focus on each channel individually, which has its own obstacles.
Multichannel marketing is not a “copy-and-paste” strategy. It takes a lot more than posting the same message to three channels and hoping for the best. Because of this, marketers may struggle to craft on-brand and relevant content that adapts to each channel.
Developing a consistent brand response on every channel takes vision, planning, and in-depth understanding. Customers expect seamlessness when they interact with brands, especially when it comes to customer support.
Multichannel marketing can lack an integrated view of the customer journey, making it difficult for customer support representatives to have the full picture when someone comes to them with an issue. This can lead to frustration as people have to repeat their problems, feeling as though they’re a ticket number rather than a valued customer.
From creating consistent messaging to tracking KPIs, it’s a big job to keep your multichannel marketing straight. Not having a clear strategy on when and how to engage with customers can result in missed opportunities, duplicated efforts, and a subpar user experience.
Tools and software
Each channel has its own dedicated tools for managing customer interactions and tracking performance. But without a way to integrate these different tools and systems, teams can quickly fall into the trap of working in silos. With data fragmented between different databases and tools, it also becomes difficult to have a clear, overarching picture of user behavior.
How to create a successful multichannel marketing campaign
Multichannel marketing has many advantages, but it requires a clear strategy and the right tools to help it run. With these basic best practices, you’ll be in a better position to excel, even as channel strategies change from year to year.
1. Use the right channels. Consider where your customers are and your ability to market there. Start with channels that have the potential to generate the biggest ROI. If you aren’t sure which channels they prefer, track and measure them.
2. Be consistent. Few things are more aggravating for a customer than being ignored or being on the receiving end of a generic experience.
3. Unify as much as you can. Marketers already deal with tool fatigue. A customer data platform like Segment offers the advantage of integration with top tools while reducing repetitive tasks. From SMS and email to cart notifications, everything can be seen from one view. You stay on brand while always knowing what your customers engage with best.
How a CDP helps you create more targeted multichannel campaigns
Customer data platforms play a key role in helping businesses collect, clean, and activate their data. With Twilio Segment, businesses can create custom integrations with a few lines of code or choose from over 400 prebuilt connectors to integrate their tech stack, and dismantle data silos.
With consolidated, accurate data that’s updated in real time, teams can then create highly nuanced audiences for their campaigns – without having to rely on technical teams.
In fact, Twilio Engage helps marketers easily build and activate audiences based on specific event behavior and traits. And with Funnel Audiences, you can create a strict ordering between two events (e.g., all users who added an item to their cart in the past week, but did not complete a purchase).
On top of ready-to-go integrations, Twilio Engage also comes with native channels like WhatsApp, SMS/MMS, and email, making it even easier to reach customers on their preferred channels.